Along the Natchez Trace

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Razzle-Berry Pie....

It's mid.... going on late June, and here in Southeast Ohio that means the raspberries are ripe.  I don't know when my love of picking berries began, but I remember one of my first berry-picking experiences.  I was probably 4 years old, give or take a year either way, and my dad pulled me in our Radio Flyer wagon (yeah, one of those with the red wooden side boards) up to the old played-out coal mine.  I'm thinking that he was going to pick blackberries...  they are bigger and seem to be more around.  Anyway, there was a big slag pile (in my memory it's a tall as a house, but I was pretty short)....  and being the adventurous kid I was, I climbed to the top while Daddy was picking berries.  Slag piles are just piles of waste materials from a coal mine, but have sharp edges and is treacherous.  Somewhere up there I slipped and rolled head over heels to the bottom.  Got a big gash on the top of my head.  Daddy always carried one of those huge red bandanna handkerchiefs and he mopped up the blood and then wrapped the handkerchief around my head, tying it under my chin.  Then he headed home with me in the wagon.  My mom was home and while I don't remember this part, I guess she freaked out when she saw us in the yard.  I doubt if anyone even thought of taking me to the doctor...  I can't remember anyone ever getting stitches or even a tetanus shot.  Obviously I lived....  and berry picking is still one of my favorite summer-time things to do.

The raspberries are ripe here now...  
And I've been busy picking!
There is a field across the road from our farm that belongs to a neighbor.  We kept our goats in it for years, but nobody uses it now.  It's getting more overgrown, but I still know where to find the raspberries....  

This gallon ice-cream bucket is just perfect to take berry-picking.  
It takes me a couple times out to get enough for a pie...  it's not like there's a huge patch all growing in the same spot.  But to me, part of the pleasure is walking along the edge of the woods, listening to the birds, occasionally spotting a box turtle...  sometimes scaring up a deer....  and just being there.  

 I wanted to bake a wild raspberry pie for Father's Day...
 It took a couple of afternoons to get enough berries...  and I kinda cheated...  I bought ready-to-bake pie dough from the Pillsbury Dough Boy.  I didn't even skimp on the sugar and real butter....  

On Sunday I baked Bill's pie and we even had some while it was still warm from the oven.

Years ago I'd pick enough berries to makes jellies and jams as well as freeze enough to make several pies.  So far I've picked enough to make 1 more pie, and that will probably be my limit this year.

But while I was out in the field, along the wood's edge, I wondered if kids these days still go out and pick berries?  My own kids did...  somewhere I have a great photo of my two and my friend Judy's two all decked out in jeans, boots, long sleeve shirts and straw hats... ready to ward off ticks, mosquitoes, flies, poison ivy, and if possible, even chiggers!  But that was 45 years ago and times have changed.  Even finding fields where you wouldn't be trespassing and that have berries growing there might be a problem now.  I know... it's easier to go to Kroger's and get frozen berries from the freezer case... or even quicker to stop in the deli and buy an already-baked ready-to-eat berry pie.

But it just doesn't taste the same as one that I've picked the berries and made myself.

That's All For Today!


  1. My sister picked fresh blackberries for Mom and me while I was in Arkansas--delicious! I can never get raspberry bushes to grow--something always happens to them!

  2. What a beautiful pie! The crust is gorgeous! I'm sure Bill enjoyed every bite. We can't grow raspberries here as it is just too hot. It is one of my favorite berries though. We are attempting to grow some huckleberries and hope to have some next year.

  3. Nothing like a fresh baked pie from the fruit you picked yourself. I made many in my restaurant, but usually only picked the rhubarb every morning from the huge patch we had in our back yard. I have picked fresh raspberries and other such fruit over the years. it is so relaxing when you have the time.
    The pie would be amazing, can almost smell it here !

  4. I'm older than you, so this goes back to the late forties, early fifties. We lived in the country, southern Maine to be exact, and my mother could always find a wild berry patch. Raspberries were found a few years after loggers came in, leaving piles of slash/branches behind. Of course, the best berry canes were deep into those piles! We had to go early before the mosquitoes and the heat got to be too much. A lost activity these days!

  5. We always picked blackberries, salmon berries and huckleberries as kids. There are lots of wild strawberries too, especially on the coast. I like raspberries but not as well as blackberries and I'm not a fan of marionberries. Your red fingers remind me of blueberry picking and my fingers after I eat strawberries!

  6. When I was a kid in the suburbs, I was never big on eating things from the garden until they were washed. Raspberries were the only exception!

  7. My mother and I would each summer pick our own strawberries. Something about picking them made them taste sooooo much better.
    I love the way you put Happy Father's day in your pie crust. So cute. Looks delicious!!!

  8. Looks great and I am sure it tasted pretty great...we are enjoying the strawberry jam every morning from the strawberries we picked here in Wisconsin.

  9. Oh my goodness that pie looks AMAZING!! I would love it with a scoop of ice cream :)

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